Surpassing Greatness of Knowing Christ Jesus-Philippians 3:7-14

Philippians 3:7-14 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Filippesi 3:7-14  « Ma ciò che per me era un guadagno, l’ho considerato come un danno, a causa di Cristo. Anzi, a dire il vero, ritengo che ogni cosa sia un danno di fronte all’eccellenza della conoscenza di Cristo Gesù, mio Signore, per il quale ho rinunciato a tutto; io considero queste cose come tanta spazzatura al fine di guadagnare Cristo e di essere trovato in lui non con una giustizia mia, derivante dalla legge, ma con quella che si ha mediante la fede in Cristo: la giustizia che viene da Dio, basata sulla fede. 10 Tutto questo allo scopo di conoscere Cristo, la potenza della sua risurrezione, la comunione delle sue sofferenze, divenendo conforme a lui nella sua morte, 11 per giungere in qualche modo alla risurrezione dei morti. 12 Non che io abbia già ottenuto tutto questo o sia già arrivato alla perfezione; ma proseguo il cammino per cercare di afferrare ciò per cui sono anche stato afferrato da Cristo {Gesù}. 13 Fratelli, io non ritengo di averlo già afferrato; ma una cosa faccio: dimenticando le cose che stanno dietro e protendendomi verso quelle che stanno davanti, 14 corro verso la mèta per ottenere il premio della celeste vocazione di Dio in Cristo Gesù.”
Paul was well-educated and had much that he could brag about in his past: a Benjaminite, tops in his Hebrew class, a Pharisee and, in his zeal against Christians, eliminated many opponents of Israel. However, all his earthly gains were nothing when he met Jesus. He refers to his own accomplishments as a loss and rubbish (something thrown to dogs). Three times in verse 7 and 8, he uses the word “consider” (to reflect upon). As he was writing this in his prison cell, he had plenty of time to think about his commitment to Christ. Notice what he exchanged his own accomplishments for: “the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (v. 8).
     Paul continues on to talk about his present and future desires in gaining this surpassing greatness. He desires to know the power of the resurrection. This was the power to overcome the resistance of the enemy. Paul knew that because of Christ’s surpassing greatness, he could also overcome the pressures he faced chained to a post.
     Notice the honesty of Paul. He realizes that he still has more to learn from Christ. After 30 years of serving Christ, he had not attained any type of perfect state. There was more to learn and relearn. Paul knew that the only way to attain more of Christ was to forget the past. When you live in the past, you will repeat the past. No runner ever wins a race by retracing his steps. Paul points to the one thing he must do to go forward: “press on” (or pursue) more of Christ. He describes it as “toward what is ahead”. After more than 3 decades of serving Christ, Paul determined that he would not come up short at the end of his race!
Pray with me: Lord, I am reminded that the great Apostle Paul continued to search for more ways to identify with You. Help me to follow his example in never thinking that my accomplishments signal the end of the finish line; I always want to pursue more of You as I press on to what lies ahead.


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